Monday, October 26, 2009


The air is crisp and cool. The sunlight lingers when it's around, and then is abruptly gone at the end of the day. One minute I'm coming home from school in daylight, the next minute I look out the window and it's pitch black outside. It's fall.

I know I've written about my favorite cool-weather drink, chai tea latte, and my favorite fall breakfast food, pumpkin bagels. But put them together, and oh mama, it's perfection. A little spicy and warm. It just feels cozy.

Stein brought a dozen of the bagels home a couple weeks ago, and the rationing has begun. I only allow myself one to two bagels per week in order to ensure that they're not gone in a short time. I always have one on Friday, and then usually one on Saturday or Sunday. Yes, I'm somewhat of a routine freak. But I think you already knew that.

I was talking to Mickey the other day and we were discussing pumpkin stuff. We're both big fans of all things pumpkin. I could eat a pumpkin shoe if there ever was one. (I'm sure it would look cute too.) Later this week Stein and I will be carving pumpkins and roasting pumpkin seeds. Can't wait.

Happy Fall to you!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Hat

I don't know if I have ever wrote a piece about Stein's love of Michigan football. Well, in a nutshell, suffice it to say that the man is a rabid fan.

If you have ever been to Michigan Stadium, then you probably know that the stadium, even though it seats over 100,000 people, is a pretty quiet stadium. Some contribute this quiet to the shape of the stadium itself that allows noise to go straight up into the sky, some contribute this quiet to the many elderly fans who are sometimes woken up from their naps by a touchdown or a row mate who may need a hot dog. Or woken up by a random outburst of "AAAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHH!" by Stein. I learned early on that you don't talk when you are sitting with Stein at a Michigan game. Like at all. Unless it's halftime - maybe. And the aforementioned outburst is the only thing that breaks this silence. I welcome it for some comedic relief, and for breaking the tension temporarily.

So with this work of being at a Michigan game, it's not surprising that there is a sort of uniform involved. The key component to this uniform? The hat. I don't say "a hat" because the article "a" doesn't convey the importance of this particular hat. It's the same style hat that Bo Schembechler wore for his successful years of coaching Michigan football.

Photo courtesy of

There's kind of a ritual surrounding the hat. Every morning before a U of M game, Stein sets out the hat, with his tickets inside of the hat. This ensures that he won't forget either one. The hat stays off until it's time to walk from the tailgate to the game. Then it gets put on, until the game is over, or until we get home. It occasionally leaves his head while we're in the stadium. Of course it's removed for the National Anthem, and sometimes when an outburst is needed. This is usually followed by a run of his fingers through his hair to keep from saying something inappropriate around our young nephews.

I have to say that I do enjoy the tradition and pomp and circumstance that goes with U of M football. It's something we never had at Marquette, because we don't have a varsity football team. The tailgating, the marching band, the striped helmets, the legacy of great players and coaches. And, the hat.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Intercepting Notes

The other day I subbed in a third grade classroom at a school I had never been to before. Not more than 20 minutes into teaching the math lesson, I saw one little girl writing something on a small piece of paper. Whenever I see this happen, I don't make a big deal out of it, I just ask for the piece of paper. This usually embarrasses the note writer enough to make an impact. Sure enough, when I asked for it, her eyes got as big as saucers and her face turned bright red. I just put the note in my pocket.

When I read it later, I had to laugh. It was about me! Although I don't know what the rest of the note would've said because I caught her in mid-sentence. It said, "What does the teacher". So I started thinking about what she was going to end the note with. What does the teacher have on her face? What does the teacher want us to do? I don't know.

What do you think?